The Factors That Cause False Pregnancy Test Results

Pregnancy is a wonderful experience. Every couple wants to have at least one healthy baby. Women often switch to home pregnancy tests if they miss a period. But these tests are not always full-proof. Yes, you may get a false pregnancy test and that can ruin your mood and other expectations. This article will be helpful if you want to find the causes that may trigger a false pregnancy test.

How The Home Pregnancy Tests Work?

The homemade pregnancy tests usually detect the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) hormone which is produced in a woman’s body during pregnancy.  After fertilization, the egg gets implanted to the uterine lining of a woman’s uterus. After this, the placenta starts to form. During this time the placenta influences the production of HCG.Usually, HCG is present in urine. So, pregnancy tests examine the urine to find HCG level. If it is present then pregnancy is considered positive. The morning urine is the most concentrated and hence it is used to detect the pregnancy.


There are two different situations in case of this false pregnancy tests-

  • False-positive means the pregnancy is absent but the test showed positive results
  • False-negative pregnancy test or when pregnancy is present but the test showed that there was no pregnancy.

False Positive

It is crystal clear. Your home pregnancy kit shows positive results but you know that you cannot be pregnant because you haven’t had any sexual intercourse for a long period of time. Some abnormalities in the HCG level may cause this false alarm. The main causes are

  • In general, the placenta produces HCG hormone during pregnancy. But in some cases, the master gland pituitary starts producing HCG due to some external factors. This gland produces three hormones Thyroid Stimulating Hormone(TSH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone(FSH) and  Luteinizing Hormone(LH) also have a chemical composition similar to HCG. So, a high concentration of any one of them may cause the first response false positive 2019.
  • Often a woman may get pregnant but she loses the fetus even before her body knew that she was pregnant. The miscarriage may not trigger the halt in production of HCG. This is called biochemical pregnancy.
  • Cancer cells produce HCG. So, if a woman has uterine or cervical cancer she may not get periods and the pregnancy test can come as positive.
  • Fertility medicines stimulate the production of HCG and you can get a false positive alarm if you are on fertility-boosting medicines.
  • If the test has expired it may give a false result.
  • If you do not read the test within the said time the test can give a false-positive result.

False Negative

It means you are pregnant but the test is showing negative results. The main factors in this case are-

  • If you are pregnant but your body does not have enough HCG the test shows a negative result. Often in the initial days of pregnancy, HCG level remains very low and it gradually increases. So, you may have taken the test too early.
  • You have a misplaced placenta or fallopian tube pregnancy.
  • The test is expired and it is not working properly.
  • You have not used your first-morning urine.
  • You may have not performed the test in the right way.

Hence, there are different factors that may lead to false-negative or false-positive pregnancy results. That’s why it is advised that you take another test after a week or do a laboratory pregnancy test to get confirmation.

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